Music for Torching

A.M. Homes

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Music for Torching

Music for Torching By A.M. Homes Music for Torching Paul and Elaine have two boys and a beautiful home yet they find themselves thoroughly inexplicably stuck Obsessed with making things good again they spin the quiet terrors of family life into a f

  • Title: Music for Torching
  • Author: A.M. Homes
  • ISBN: 9780688177621
  • Page: 133
  • Format: Paperback
  • Music for Torching By A.M. Homes Paul and Elaine have two boys and a beautiful home, yet they find themselves thoroughly, inexplicably stuck Obsessed with making things good again , they spin the quiet terrors of family life into a fantastical frenzy that careens well and truly out of control As A M Homes s incendiary novel unfolds, the Kodacolor hues of the American good life become nearly hallucinoPaul and Elaine have two boys and a beautiful home, yet they find themselves thoroughly, inexplicably stuck Obsessed with making things good again , they spin the quiet terrors of family life into a fantastical frenzy that careens well and truly out of control As A M Homes s incendiary novel unfolds, the Kodacolor hues of the American good life become nearly hallucinogenic from a strange and hilarious encounter on the floor of the pantry with a Stepford wife neighbour, to a house cleaning team in space suits, to a hostage situation at the school Homes lays bare the foundations of marriage and family life, and creates characters outrageously flawed, deeply human and entirely believable.
    Music for Torching By A.M. Homes

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    One thought on “Music for Torching

    1. Snotchocheez on said:

      My second shot with A.M Homes brand of familial dysfunction was much better than my first the decidedly one note short story collectionThings You Should Know This one, a particulary ferocious novelMusic for Torching is, at its finer moments, as good as anything written by a few of her East Coast based Pulitzer winning kings of dysfunction fiction predecessors John Updike and John Cheever immediately come to mind , though refreshingly with a female centric perspective While I generally loathe bo [...]

    2. Makenzie Schultz on said:

      I m really torn in my opinion of this book As time goes by since I ve finished it, as I think about it , I like it better than I did when I had first finished it When I first finished this book I was absolutely shocked by the outcome, I put the book down and was incredibly confused, and really upset But I knew that I didn t dislike the book, I hadn t been able to put it down A.M Homes style of writing is mesmerizing, and the characters are all just so terrible and so lifelike in their bad quali [...]

    3. Mulligan on said:

      Delightfully devastating With this book, A.M Homes paints a haunting picture of suburbia The main characters, Paul and Elaine, have managed to keep up with the Joneses in their seemingly perfect suburban town, but their lovely house, friendly neighbors and two boys have left them with a life filled with boredom and despair They want to make things good again in their lives, yet are caught in a shame spiral that begins with a failed attempt to burn down their house and ends with a hostage situati [...]

    4. Auguste on said:

      Few writers are as incisive and savagely funny as Homes when it comes to dissecting that dysfunctional beast that is family I just love her .

    5. Sarah Smith on said:

      OH MY GOD is exactly what I said to my empty living room when I finished reading this novel by A.M Homes After Revolutionary Road and Little Children this is the third successive novel i ve read dealing with suburban life in America Paul and Elaine this time are the unhappy couple and a little bit crazy, certainly depressed, completely selfish, mostly unlikeable and somehow and i ve no idea how but Homes makes you care about these two strangely believable characters The story starts when they bu [...]

    6. Tammy on said:

      It was very difficult for me to assign a rating to this book.On one hand it is very well written That is usually enough to earn 4 stars from me I do love a well turned phrase.On the other hand it was very difficult to read The characters straight across the board are very unlikeable It was hard for me to care about what happened to them To make matters worse, every now and then I would see a little glimpse of myself or of other people I love Never enough to make me think that I or they was were [...]

    7. Cynthia on said:

      I m only saying this was okay because the book was well written and there were the odd amusing moments I didn t enjoy the story it was basically a series of poor me moments that culminated in an event that I thought was awful and unnecessary I didn t enjoy the characters, again because they were all so pre occupied with feeling sorry for themselves, despite their largely cushy lives The characters are awful to themselves and to each other I realise that this is the point of the book that the liv [...]

    8. Theacrob on said:

      Just started Not sure if it s great literature or total crap Update Total crap CONFIRMED.This book is desperate to be Delillo s White Noise, but it fails with such misery that I m surprised I haven t gouged out my eyes and accidently had lesibian intercourse Not necessarily in that order.Take my advise and read White Noise if you are looking for modern Americana.

    9. M on said:

      I can t in good conscience give this fewer than three stars, because it held my attention, was at times strikingly funny and or insightful, and was a definite show of talent but so many times I wanted to throw it across the room and or give it one star, so, I am settling for three with misgivings.Let s start by saying that I am a realist I like my fiction as unfictiony as possible What I can t handle is fiction via fun house mirrors, ie, scenarios and people so outlandish they cannot be real or [...]

    10. Nico Blackheart on said:

      I saw this book on a recommendation list and figured I would give it a try since I like quirky dark humor in the spirit of Running With Scissors Homes style is dry, witty, and leaves nothing to the imagination Where most other authors in this genre of starkly depressing humor use flowery language to skirt around the issues presented, Homes uses very simple English to get her points across, and most of the time it makes for a refreshingly human read with minimal pretense Despite the fact that not [...]

    11. Sarah on said:

      I hated this book and everyone in it If it wasn t for a class I wouldn t have finished it When I was done reading it I literally threw it at the wall I will never be able to hurt that book the way it hurt me.

    12. Kusaimamekirai on said:

      This is my first book of 2017 and I can t imagine anything that follows it will be quite the same This is the story of Paul and Elaine They are profoundly and irreparably unhappy with just about every facet of their lives Early in the story they are BBQing in their backyard yard when they decide to spray their house with lighter fluid, tip the grill over, and torch their house They have no reason or overriding goal other than simple and complete nihilism That their house doesn t actually burn is [...]

    13. Edmole on said:

      I have been rewatching the Sopranos from the start Like the Sopranos, this is a study of selfish kids of baby boomers who have themselves had kids who are now caught in the maelstrom of their indulgent selfishness AM Homes first novel, Jack, is dark but hopeful, as are her last two, May We Be Forgiven and This Book Will Save Your Life But there s no hope in this book These are people who have everything they need and do most of what they want and don t enjoy it and don t know what to do with it [...]

    14. Peggy on said:

      Okay, I was cleaning out my bookcases and this book was shelved as though it had been read I read the synopsis and had no memory of this book I started reading the opening pages, sure it would come back to me Fifty pages in, I m totally hooked and very sure that I had not ever actually read it That was at maybe 5 something pm I just finished it in one marathon read and am blown away and ready to order everything else she s written To recount the plot makes it sound like every late 20th century s [...]

    15. Mike Polizzi on said:

      2.5 Today s suburban dweller is a different type of beast One can read Homes account of the Weiss family and find the heartbreaks and frustrations rendered by Cheever, Updike and Yates ghosted over with a dash of Delillo The characters totter on the edge of chaos An apt portrait of the thrill seeking, self gratifying set Written in clean and crisp sentences with episodic momentum, the novel has the feeling of a vaguely entertaining TV show distanced, cool, impeccable No place for tragedy, no pla [...]

    16. Valerie on said:

      One of the worst books I ve ever read If a book could be written in a minor key, this would be the result This could be beautiful, but there s no character development, the editing is disappointing with inconsistent details all over the place, and the ending The ending is ridiculous it s as if the author came up against deadline and needed to end it I wish I would have bailed on this book in the first chapter, like I d originally wanted.

    17. Mizah on said:

      I had to force myself to finish this almost plot less book There is no clear sense of time for all those affairs and drama to happen in the span of one week, I mean really Everything was just so unexpected and crazy that eventually crazy became normal And it s disturbing on so many levels, though I m sure it somewhat reflects the problems of suburban Americans and the flaws of the American Dream.The only character that I genuinely cared for is the one that Homes killed.

    18. Anna on said:

      Three thoughts 1 How do these people have so much sex 2 The feeling of ennui, and floating through your life well, I only wish AM Homes could have given a way of fixing it, instead of just capturing it so well.3 Do Not Read if you are thinking about pursuing the stereotypical suburban lifestyled have an inkling of a reservation about it.

    19. Katie Mansfield on said:

      I m speechless The ending WHAT I loved the book almost the entire way through A.M Homes has a writing style I really appreciate and enjoy But the ending How could she do that I can t decide if I want to cry or burn my book in the Weiss Family barbeque.

    20. Andrew on said:

      After being rather disappointed with May We Be Forgiven, I actually enjoyed Music for Torching, although I wasn t overjoyed with it Again, I can tell that Homes really, really likes Don DeLillo, and also makes several trips into Richard Yates country After all, it starts with two sudden acts of random violence in a posh New York suburb, and goes on ad nauseam through extramarital affairs, accidental lesbianism, insurance fraud, and so forth Is it at the caliber of Yates or Cheever or Updike writ [...]

    21. Robin Umbley on said:

      I found this book at the airport concerned, I had the owner paged and when she arrived at the gate she said that she had intentionally left the book on a chair because she thought it was a horrible book and didn t want it and was leaving it for someone who might At that, I thought I might test her assessment for myself My verdict how could something so beautifully written be so dreadful I agree with the person who willfully abandoned this book It s horrible Elaine and Paul are utterly vapid, uni [...]

    22. Renee on said:

      Sadly, this book was gravely under whelming I expected from the brilliant mind that produced The End Of Alice Then again, maybe one cannot live up to such a book This was like American Beauty the movie on crack Everything was haphazard, random, dysfunctional are people really like this The ending was completely unexpected, although, when I think about it the only ending I could really see was some type of destruction.What was the point of this book What did I come away with An aversion to the c [...]

    23. Polly James on said:

      I have NO idea what rating to give this book On the one hand, it s beautifully written, in A M Homes characteristically introspective tone, and with her trademark flashes of black humour but on the other, it s probably the most depressing book I ve ever read and so I hated it I ve loved most of A M Homes other books, especially May We Be Forgiven and This Book Will Save Your Life , but while both the latter and Music for Torching could be said to carry the same overall message about the importan [...]

    24. Cashman on said:

      In Thoreau s day, people led lives of quiet desperation There is nothing quiet here p 93 Should I call what s her name Elaine turns to Sammy What s Nate s mother s name Mom Sammy says.Daniel hits him Butt plug Help me, what s her name Elaine asks Paul.Nope, nothing quiet here p 189 Paul notices that the color of her eye shadow is Fiction, her lipstick is called Sheer Fraud p 195 If nothing else, it seems like the one thing we do well we fight and we c k That s how we know we re still married Ay [...]

    25. Russell George on said:

      Russell is writing this review He has eaten tuna, which he marinated using too much ginger, and is wondering why the dentist mumbled at him today OK, so the dentist was wearing a mask, but it was rude It cost 50, which made it ruder He is thinking about the dentist, and the 50 he exchanged for a thorough than usual teeth cleaning.This is how A M Homes writes, an urgent first person prose that seeks, and at times succeeds, in making a suburban landscape seem dramatically vivid Certainly better t [...]

    26. Heather on said:

      A.M Homes writes from what I call a Suburban Surrealist bent That is, what could sort of, possibly happen in real life, but usually doesn t, and is weird, and wacky, and well, fascinating A.M Homes is fabulous at creating a doll s house view of a nuclear family, and then dissecting the family from the inside out thoughts, feelings, and processes Music for Torching is a bird s eye view of the couple, Paul and Elaine who smoke crack in their living room out of boredom This couple was seen before i [...]

    27. Georgekhorozian on said:

      I read this book because I have friends who recommend it Unfortunately, I can t share their enthusiasm Beside the characters seeming no than paper charactures, and all too trendy ones at that, I could find no purpose to making art of their lives It s not as if the ennui and hypocrisy of the suburban middleclass hasn t been written about before If this book appeared in the 1960s, I could understand all the accolades it s received Who can forget Charles Webb s searing portrayal of the plastic cla [...]

    28. Blair on said:

      Wow Nothing good in this book Not a single uplifting moment, not a single likeable character, just angst, discontent, boredom and horror I feel like this book has been done in many different versions through the years, and this was a crasser way of portraying the line from The Civil Wars, I don t love you, but I always will It s a man and wife, bored with themselves, bored with each other, bored with life and all the horrible ways they try to deal with it I was okay with the book until the end I [...]

    29. Katrina on said:

      More often than not, I always come away from an A.M Homes novel absolutely despising the main protagonists and generally find myself unable to dredge up much in the way of sympathy for them.Music for Torching was no different in this regard There was many a time the shenanigans of the main characters, Elaine and Paul had me sneering and rolling my eyes at the text I suppose then it s a testament to Homes writing that she could create a compelling enough tale to keep me reading to the end.The sto [...]

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